overall
89
97
style
RATINGS: 2080   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 165   ABV: 5.5%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
This is our special ale from the brewers at Anchor. It is sold only from early November to mid-January. The Ale’s recipe is different every year, but the intent with which we offer it remains the same: joy and celebration of the newness of life. Since ancient times, trees have symbolized the winter solstice when the earth, with its seasons appears born anew.

Editor’s Note: due to the significant similarity in style and strength from year to year (despite potential differences in the exact spice blend), this beer is no longer separated by vintage.

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3.7
lovemyipas (544) - nw burbs, Illinois, USA - NOV 13, 2010
I can’t believe I have never rated this beer! vintage 2010. pours a very dark brown almost black like color with a very nice brown fluufy head. aroma is black licorice, nutmeg, cinnamon, and a couple of other spices I can’t recognize. flavor is the same as aroma with a touch of bitter chocolate and roasted malt. the flavors stick to the tongue for awhile and has some good lacing. a tad bit green and fresh and I do like the 2008 more than any of the others since 2005. I always like having this every year and I would like to age a couple from this year and revisit.

4.2
Shot (543) - Westerville, Ohio, USA - JAN 17, 2014
The 2013 pours dark brown with a rocky beige head. Aromas are chocolate, caramel, cinnamon, orange peel and hops. Upfront malty flavor with dark chocolate, spice, and raisin. Slight apple and licorice finish. Creamy mouthfeel. Another great brew and year from Anchor!

2.9
VitaminR (540) - Colorado, USA - FEB 5, 2008
2007 - Slight black cherry and cloves on the nose. Some spice and burnt sugar, but not quite enough sweetness to balance the bitterness. Seemed thin. Not terrible, but there are much better winter/holiday ales out there.

3.8
Hudspart (538) - Byron Center, Michigan, USA - MAR 10, 2012
2011 Bottle: Pours quite dark with no head. Very spicy aroma. Nutmeg? Enticing aroma. Medium body with lively palate. Very good.

3.7
graham515 (537) - Houston, Texas, USA - DEC 10, 2006
UPDATED: DEC 7, 2007 2007 Vintage:
Pours a deep ruby brown into the glass with a small off white head. Aroma is big this year. I’m picking up a lot of nutmeg, cinammon and bubble gum type aromas. The taste is relatively unassuming considering its huge aroma. Nice and crisp with a dry finish.
Aroma: 8 Appearance: 4 Flavor: 6 Palate: 4 Overall: 15
2006:
Fruity Aroma. Pours almost completely black with a dark tan head. Has some rich coffee/chocolate maltiness along with some fruity undertones. Has a nice spice to it. I’m not a huge fan of the style, but this is definately worth a try!
Aroma: 7 Appearance: 5 Flavor: 6 Palate: 4 Overall: 15

2.9
Crash (532) - Macomb, Illinois, USA - DEC 12, 2005
Poured a dark brown/black with a little head and good lacing. There wasn’t much aroma or at least I didn’t catch it. I didn’t get much in the way of spices and judging from others, I wonder if I got a bad bottle.

3.6
ninecats (532) - Uddevalla, SWEDEN - FEB 26, 2015
Backlog, Christmas 2014. Bottle. Dark brown with two finger tan head, dissipates quickly leaving some lacings. Wonderful aroma of pine needles, vanilla, spices, liquorice, malt. Taste about the same with a dry finish. Medium body, light to medium carbo.

3.2
Ctplt777 (530) - Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA - DEC 25, 2015
UPDATED: DEC 26, 2015 Interesting beer. Lots of fig, plums, and molasses in the aroma. Very chewy and sweet. It tastes like a big oatmeal raisin cookie. Lots of sweetness, with bit hints of molasses, chocolate, nutmeg and spice. Not quite a stout but totally full of complexity and flavor. Definitely a great holiday beer.

3.9
Ljunkan (530) - Karlstad, SWEDEN - JUL 16, 2008
Need to update this one. Sold as Anchor Christmas Ale here in Sweden, I was surprised when a friend found 4-5 bottles back in April. This beer has an absolutely wonderful aroma; a quite strong one for only 5,5% ABV. Wonderful malt, spices, pine needle... almost imperial stoutish smell. Flavour is really good, even though it maybe smells better than it tastes. Wonderful taste of Christmas-spices, particulary ginger, and some pine needle. Need too buy this again next Christmas...

3.4
bobaidan (530) - Southington, Connecticut, USA - DEC 10, 2008
2008 bottle. Pours dark brown with a medium head. Aroma is dark caramel with some nice spicy hops. Mouth feel is very carbonated, but in a good way. Flavor is spicy but rounded off nicely with sweet roasted malt.


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